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Chaparro, Schumann, Muth, Schmitz-Schmelzer, Snyder, Reis:
No Paint

5/4 - 6/29/2013

Gallery Sonja Roesch is pleased to announce a new exhibition, “No Paint”, which opens May 4 and runs through June 29, 2013. The show consists of six artists whose work is based on shared painterly concepts, yet none use traditional paint. What unites them is their use of pigment, whether it is found, industrial, or unsupported, and their use of unorthodox materials to explore three painting fundamentals: light, color, and the mystery of nature.


Regine Schumann constructs simple boxes and tubes from industrial materials. Her florescent Plexiglas shapes are machine-made yet transcend their humble origin by emitting a mysterious glow. The curving forms in this show bulge from the wall, and are color and light barely contained by their minimal geometry.


Another artist in the show utilizes machines and materials to explore light and color. August Muth fuses them with physics in his holographic squares. To make his holograms, he lasers glass with surgical precision, so no human touch is visible. They recall Josef Albers and Modernist color theory. According to the position of the viewer, the squares recede, advance, and morph hues. The entire piece can dilate like an iris, summarizing the optical experience of paint.


Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer’s work also hovers between perception and physicality. He submerges horizontal stripes of pigment into blocks of shiny resin, which resemble a geological rainbow of color. Sometimes they glow as if under a living skin, with the color edges barely distinguishable. Schmitz-Schmelzer takes pigments into the world of both painting and sculpture by solidifying color.


Mario Reis also submerges his paintings, but in nature, in order to find color. He tethers untreated, stretched canvas into river beds all over the world. The results are a variety of pigments and accumulated sediments. They flow from the landscape tradition of painting in that they are specific to a place and they are a record of time passed. The result is illuminated by water, making them the conceptual offspring of Monet’s haystacks, as the mystery of color and nature are intertwined.


Hills Snyder approaches beloved painting iconography with humor. He uses a playful color palette and takes painting off the support and onto the wall itself. The multi-color Eiffel tower made of teacups is an instantly recognizable collection of silhouettes. In one swoop, Snyder pokes fun at beloved bourgeois symbols of civilization, an icon of the Industrial Revolution, and the City of Light, Paris.


Aldo Chaparro also combines industrial materials with a human variable and pop culture references. He starts with flat sheets of steel and crumples them into shapes that reflect chance and the artist’s hand. The results are like punk rock flowers, bursting with intense reflected color. Like the media world that inspires him, the slick, silvery steel is a mirror to the environment and the viewer.


All the artists in this show explore color, light, and nature, by using industrial, non-conventional, or found materials. Their varied results push our perception of light and color and bring of the fundamental act of seeing into the limelight. They ask us to contemplate the origins of pigment in nature and humorously question the role of culture in seeing. By using “No Paint”, these artists affirm the fundamentals of light and color as the mainstays of painting, but also spot the difference between man-made and nature-made. “No Paint” is not just about what painting does without paint. It expands the definition of “paint”.



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